Itis easy for the public to demand patriotism from the employer and the workers involved in the impasse that is playing itself out as a strike at World Cup stadiums and other construction sites.
Patriotism unfortunately tends to be the refuge of the desperate as much as it is haven for scoundrels.
If we seek to argue why the strike went ahead - the workers' demand for 13 percent and the employers' offer of 10 percent - we could end up with our eyes off the ball.
As the World Cup Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan said, workers have a constitutionally entrenched right to go on strike if they are unhappy with the conditions of their employment.
The corollary, that employers have a right to lock out such employees, must also hold.
None of the parties involved in the strike should harbour the notion that the one's burden of patriotism is greater than the other's. In fact, patriotism should not even be a factor.
What we have in our hands is an age-old tussle between labour and capital.
It is not the first and it certainly will not be the last time that employers and their workers disagree about what is a fair wage.
We therefore urge both employers and employees to seek solutions to the strike, not only because it can harm our international image if the stadiums are not ready on time, but because industrial harmony is a desirable end in itself.
A fair settlement will make us look good before the eyes of the world.